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Wealthy Drunk Driver Pays Bt45 Million to Avoid Legal Action

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BANGKOK – The rich and powerful have always had a better chance at evading punishment than their poorer and less connected counterparts especially in Thailand.

Now days the Thai public has pretty much become desensitized by the impunity of the rich and come to expect different standards of justice applied to the rich and the poor.

There is a privileged club of people in Bangkok whose weapons are not guns but expensive luxury cars, but likewise they never have had to go to jail.

Their victims include a Laotian migrant girl cut in half by a speeding Porsche; and a traffic cop on a motorbike killed in a hit and run by a Ferrari going at 200mph. The cases followed a usual pattern: ordinary people killed, negotiation when the suspect would report to the courteous police, bail granted, some compensation paid, no one in jail.

It Pays to Be Rich

Now the rich owner of the large manufacturer company has escaped legal action for crashing Mercedes-Benz into a Suzuki Swift, killing a police lieutenant colonel and his wife and seriously injuring their daughter, while intoxicated.

According to the Nation, Somchai Wayrotepipat, 57, paid Bt45 million in compensation to the family of a deputy police commander killed in the road accident in order for them to drop the threat of legal action.

Kosonlavat Intujunyong, deputy spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General, said on Monday that the daughters of Pol Lt Colonel Jatuporn Ngarmsuwitchakul had already informed the court of their family’s decision not to pursue legal proceedings against Mr. Somchai Verojpipat.

Somchai was found to be legally drunk when he crashed his Benz sedan head-on into the car of Jatuporn – who worked for the Crimes Suppression Division – in Bangkok in April. The accident killed Jatuporn and his wife, and seriously injured the couple’s youngest daughter.

Somchai expressed remorse over deaths and paid Bt45 million to Jatuporn’s daughters. The amount is said to be the largest amount in compensation ever offered to a family of road-accident victims.

Initially, police pressed five charges against Somchai, namely speeding, drunk and reckless driving that caused death and serious injuries, damage to property, homicide, and attempted homicide.

Public prosecutor have now decided to drop the charges related to homicide.

Somchai has already pleaded guilty to the three remaining charges of speeding, drunk driving and reckless driving.

The court will deliver its verdict on July 31 for the three remaining charges.

Source: The Nation